November 29, 2013

[friday]: A Black Friday birthday present


---- — IText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color’Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Colorve been out shopping on Black Friday precisely twice in my life.

The first time, I had just turned 17. I was growing from awkward teenager to awkward young adult. And I wanted a pair of boots for my birthday.

Not just any boots, mind you. A nice pair of black, knee-high, round-toed boots. The kind you’d never wear near a pile of snow. I was maturing out of the phase of sledding and snow angels, or so I thought. (I know better now. You’re never too old to make snow angels.)

Every time I mentioned these fashionable boots to my mother, she called them “go-go” boots and started singing and dancing: “These boots are made for walkin’, and that’s what I’m gonna do.” My mother has a song for every occasion, and sometimes her memory of the lyrics is questionable.

I had my heart set on these “go-go” boots. For the first time in my life, I started poring over Black Friday ads. And there they were: The perfect boots at a price my mother agreed to spend for my birthday present!

There was just one catch: They were on sale only on the morning of Black Friday.

My mother is less of a Black Friday shopper than I am. She’ll go to Walmart at midnight to avoid the crowds. In July.

So we compromised. She’d buy my boots – if I stood in line for the cash register.

To my delight, the store still had a pair in my size late the morning of Black Friday. I didn’t care that the check-out line wrapped halfway back to the household linens section, only stopping about when it reached the shoe section. I HAD MY BOOTS.

I happily stood in line – imagining what it might feel like to stand for an hour and a quarter wearing my boots. I chatted with the woman in front of me, who pushed an overflowing cart, telling her how much I was looking forward to wearing my boots that Sunday to church.

At the check-out, I triumphantly watched the cashier bag my boots and hand the receipt to me. I’m sure the grin I wore wrapped around my face twice.

While waiting for my mother to pick me up outside the store, I accidentally let the receipt fly off in the wind.

But I didn’t care.

These boots were MINE and nobody could take them away from me.

— Sarah Einselen

Friday editor / Give me my boots and nobody gets hurt